Jun. 19th, 1948
Houston, Texas, USA
Phylicia Rashad's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Born to dentist, Andrew Arthur Allen, and poet, Vivian Ayers, in Harris County, TX. As a child, Phylicia, her older brother Andrew (called Tex) and younger sister, 'Debbie Allen', lived in Mexico to escape US racism. She also has another brother, Hugh Allen (a real estate banker in North Carolina).
Their mother, Vivian Ayers, decided to live there to give the Allen children a brief experience of not having to endure the chronic racism and segregation that was typical of Texas during the 1950s. From this, Phylicia and Debbie are fluent in Spanish.
Phylicia graduated from Howard University and later taught drama there.
With younger sister, 'Debbie Allen', she has production company D.A.D. which stood for Doctor Allen's Daughters. Her Pulitzer-nominated poet mother, Vivian, is the artistic and free spirit that has influenced and encouraged the remarkable creativity that so marks Allen as a performer.
- Her mother Dr Vivian Elizabeth Ayers attended Brainerd Institute, Barber Scotia College and Bennett College. Vivian was the first poet in the state of Texas to receive the Pulitzer Prize Award nomination in 1952. Vivian was often called the "Poet Laureate of Texas." In the late 50's, her poetry, "Hawk," attracted the attention of NASA and for twenty years was the only poetry celebrated by NASA. She worked as an apprentice librarian at the Fondren Library of Rice University and was accorded faculty status in 1965, becoming the first African American to be so qualified. During her years at Rice, she organized and published The Adept Quarterly, an important contribution to the small publications movement of the time.
- Became the first African-American actress to win the Best Actress (Play) Tony Award for her 2004 performance as Lena Younger in a revival of 'Lorraine Hansberry' (qv)'s "A Raisin in the Sun". Several Black women have won in the Best Actress (Musical) category, including the late 'Virginia Capers' (qv), who won in 1973 for her portrayal of Lena in the musical adaptation of Hansberry's play called "Raisin."
- Her ex-husband, 'Victor Willis (I)' (qv), was a lead singer for 'The Village People' (qv). The two divorced because of Willis' cocaine drug addiction. Sister-in-law of 'Norman Nixon' (qv).
- Wears a size 9 shoe.
- 'Ahmad Rashad' (qv) proposed to her on national TV during the halftime show of NBC's Thanksgiving Day broadcast of the game between the Detroit Lions and the New York Jets. Earlier in the day, she had worked NBC's Macy's Thanksgiving Day telecast. Within minutes of hearing Ahmad's request, she came on NBC's "NFL Live" halftime set and accepted his proposal live on TV. 'O.J. Simpson' (qv) was best-man at her 1985 wedding to 'Ahmad Rashad' (qv).
- Phylicia and Debbie both speak Spanish fluently from living in Mexico as children.
- Nominated for the 2005 Tony Award (New York City) for Actress in a Drama for "Gem of the Ocean".
- Aunt of 'Norman Nixon Jr.' (qv) and 'Vivian Nixon' (qv).